In this fascinating new book, Malcolm Vale sets out to recapture the splendour of the court culture of western Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Exploring the century or so between the death of St Louis and the rise of Burgundian power in the Low Countries, he illuminates a period in the history of princes and court life previously overshadowed by that of the courts of the dukes of Burgundy. Taking in subjects as diverse as art patronage and
gambling, hunting and devotional religion, Malcolm Vale rediscovers a richness and abundance of artistic, literary, and musical life. He shows how, despite the pressures of political fragmentation, unrest, and a nascent awareness of national identity, a common culture emerged in English, French, and Dutch
court societies at this time. The result is a ground-breaking re-evaluation of the nature and role of the court in European history and a celebration of a forgotten age.
`Review from previous edition The Princely Court is an important book...Sophisticated, vividly illustrated and rigorously researched...It is abrim with original ideas and perceptions which look to have significant implications for students of other periods too.'
Maurice Keen -English Historical Review
`Useful to anyone who seeks to understand the intricate network of affinities and exchanges within which princely courts operate. Vale knows this territory well, perhaps better than anyone...And he is very generous to his readers, both in his provision of raw data and its analysis...An essential contribution to the study of court life.'
The Medieval Review
`Remarkable new book, which will be the point of departure for studies of the late medieval court for a long time to come...Refreshing views on the subject of definitions of culture.'
Nigel Saul, Times Literary Supplement
`It is his vivid and illuminating reconstructions of court life in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that will be of inestimable use both to medievalists and to all those with a serious interest in court culture.'
American Historical Review
The Material Foundation of Court Life
1: Court and Household
2: Organization and Structures
3: Consumption and Expenditure
4: The Travelling Court
5: Court Life and Court Culture
6: Art at Court: Investment in Culture?